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Successful careers and cognitive style: a follow-up study of childhood family discontinuity.

Authors
  • Gordon, V Z
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological reports
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1991
Volume
69
Issue
3 Pt 2
Pages
1071–1074
Identifiers
PMID: 1792271
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

It was predicted that those participants who experienced discontinuity (death, divorce, and separations) from their parent(s) in childhood and who had successful careers in adulthood would manifest more innovative than adaptive cognitive styles on the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory. The original research showed 61% of the sample members (n = 41) experienced family discontinuity. Ninety percent (n = 37) of the previous participants responded and showed 59% family discontinuity. Fifty-four percent in the follow-up study chose an alternative career path (counterstriving), the same percentage as in the original sample. When both family discontinuity and counterstriving were present, statistically significant innovation scores occurred. Family discontinuity in childhood and a successful career in adulthood are likely to be associated with high striving-motivation and an innovative (paradigm-breaking) problem-solving style.

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